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Republicans warned over 'on the run' letters

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers has said republicans suspected of crimes committed during the Troubles should "no longer draw comfort" from letters informing them that police were no longer pursuing them.

The minister told a Westminster committee that she had to clarify the status of the so-called 'letters of comfort' after a judge-led review called their accuracy into question.

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Lewis MP: 'Catastrophic' error in John Downey case

The Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said Theresa Villiers was right to apologise at the Northern Ireland Affairs Committee today, describing a 'catastrophic' error in the John Downey case.

Ivan Lewis MP. Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/Press Association Images

[Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Theresa Villiers] was right to apologise to the family and friends of the Hyde Park victims following the catastrophic error made in the John Downey case. I am also pleased that she was very robust in making it clear that these letters never offered any of their recipients an amnesty from prosecution. This was also the conclusion of the Hallett review. However, at a time when stability in Northern Ireland is so fragile it is essential the government is clear and unambiguous about its response to sensitive issues

– Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, Ivan Lewis MP

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